Written by PETA
You may have heard of Safeway. They are the second-largest grocery chain in North America. Which makes our latest breakthrough with the company (which has been six years in the making) a huge victory for animals. Safeway executives have just confirmed to us that they are initiating a new animal welfare plan that will make them, along with Whole Foods, one of the grocery industry leaders with regard to animal welfare. The company has agreed to encourage all of their egg suppliers to ban battery cages, implement a purchasing preference for pork that was produced without cruel gestation crates, and favor poultry suppliers that use controlled-atmosphere killing (the least cruel method of slaughter) instead of electric stun baths and throat-slitting.
As usual with these announcements, this is wonderful news because it means that one of the biggest, most influential corporations in the world is listening to the public’s concerns about animal suffering and making significant changes that will directly affect millions of animals—as well as fundamentally changing the way an entire industry does business. It does not mean that we’re all going to pat ourselves on the backs, pack up our desks, and go home. We still have a long way to go before animals stop being tortured and killed because (for instance) people have a preference for a certain kind of breakfast food, but this is a big step in the right direction, and we’re extremely grateful to everyone who helped us during the years of negotiations, the multiple shareholder resolutions, and the action alerts encouraging Safeway to take animal issues seriously.
Thanks to Safeway for making this compassionate decision, and to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen. Now back to work.
There was yet another carriage-horse fatality in New York today. How many more horses have to die before New York realizes that this industry has no place in a civilized city? The following is PETA’s official statement on the incident.
PETA has just learned that a horse used to pull carriages in New York City died this afternoon at the Clinton Park Stables. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the horse died of colic, which causes severe abdominal pain. PETA is investigating the circumstances of the horse’s death and reminds New Yorkers as well as tourists that these horses should be in pastures, not locked in dark, damp stalls in warehouse buildings. We renew our call to New Yorkers to help put an end to this inhumane and unsafe industry and to support City Council Member Tony Avella’s proposal to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city.
Literally. Mississippi state representative W.T. Mayhall Jr. has been all over the news recently after introducing a provocative bill that would bar Mississippi restaurants from serving obese people. I’ll refrain from commenting on whether such a bill would be a good idea, but if they are going to consider such things, we have a suggestion for an amendment: instead of royally pissing everybody off by refusing to serve overweight people altogether, PETA is proposing that restaurants be required to serve only healthy vegan meals to consumers who are struggling with their weight. As PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich says, "Vegan meals like hearty vegetable casseroles, bean burritos, and pasta with mushrooms, tomatoes, and green peppers not only are satisfying but will slim you right down too." You can read our letter to the state rep here.
We’ve been trying to get designer Donna Karan to watch some footage of exactly what happens to the animals killed for her fur coats for a long time now—and yesterday, a brave PETA member who was up in New York for fashion week made sure that happened, with a little help from some soy lattes: Dressed to the nines and carrying a tray of coffees, she marched up to Donna Karan’s apartment and was welcomed inside without any questions, and offered a seat in the living room. When Donna Karan returned home, my friend pulled out the mini DVD player she had in her bag and cued up the fur farm footage, prompting the following exchange:
DK: I can't watch this now. I have somewhere to be . . . I just really don't have the time. PETA: Yes, but you’ve promised twice that you would stop using fur and you keep bringing it back. Everyone’s so disappointed. You have to know that this isn’t right.DK: I've seen all these videos, but for me it's just purses and accessories. PETA: But for me and millions of other people, these are animals. They suffer terribly as they are electrocuted, gassed and skinned alive for their pelts.
…and so on, until Donna decided enough was enough and escorted my friend out of the house. Pissed off as she was, hopefully this has at least planted the seed in her head that it’s time to stop supporting the horrific abuses of the fur industry. But if that doesn’t work, we’ve got a few more tricks up our sleeve:
The New York Post featured this story on their front page today. You can read their coverage here.
A little while back, we wrote to the county jail holding alleged cannibal Christopher Lee McCuin, asking that they put him on a flesh-free diet ASAP—since, apart from anything else, there really is something horribly perverse about feeding the guy body parts given the circumstances surrounding his arrest. We received a prompt response to our letter from one Sheriff J.B. Smith, who pointed out (very reasonably) that intentionally altering McCuin’s meals without changing all the other inmate’s meals might be viewed as prejudicial treatment, and asked if we could provide some documentation to support our statement that vegetarian meals promote nonviolence in correction facilities.
Our follow-up letter, which was faxed to the sheriff’s office today, does exactly that. Complete with references to Pythagoras, Albert Einstein, and Tolstoy, along with some information about trial programs at correctional facilities that have given all the inmates vegetarian food, it makes for a pretty good read. Here it is in full.
You know you’re sexy, but does the rest of the world? We’re still accepting nominations for this year’s Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door contest until January 15, when a team of hotness consultants led by PETA’s International Sexiness Coordinator Chris Holbein will be picking the 10 male and 10 female finalists to feature on our website. The two winners of the overall contest will be getting a free trip to Hawaii, so there’s more at stake here than just bragging rights. Click the image of Chris below (a sexy vegetarian himself, on occasion) for more info and to enter the contest.
When we announced our top 10 vegetarian-friendly ballparks, part of the idea was to encourage more people to check out a game or two at those stadiums and sample their vegetarian fare. Same sort of deal with our top 10 colleges—one effect of publicizing their veg-friendly cafeterias was that more people would want to go there. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if this latest top 10 list gets you all amped about the prospect of going to one of these prisons, you may want to set some slightly more ambitious goals for yourself … but for the people who—through bad luck or poor planning—are on their way there, this will come as some very good news.
We get calls all the time from inmates who want to make a positive change in their lives by going vegetarian, and in the course of responding to these individuals, we’ve assembled the following list of the top 10 vegetarian-friendly prisons in the United States as a tidbit for curious citizens, a resource for prisoners’ rights groups, and, well, a menu for future inmates. Whichever category you fall into, I hope you enjoy it.
Click here to read Newsweek’s coverage of the story, and check out the top 10 below:
Our good friend Kevin Nealon shared his own unique recipe for a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast with us during a PETA Thanksgiving event at Jorja Fox’s house last year. I think Kevin’s brilliant Thanksgiving Wad idea has the potential to be a long-lasting tradition that will forever leave its mark on the holiday. So share it with your friends. And for less adventurous (or more practical) folks, we’ve got a ton of great Thanksgiving recipes here.
Which, as you might imagine, was all the invitation we needed to pen her another little missive, this time to congratulate her on her (mostly) compassionate diet and to suggest that if she can just bring herself to leave the sea life off her plate, we’d be glad to nominate her for next year’s World’s Sexiest Vegetarian contest (which, incidentally, her cousin Lauren won in 2003). So there you go — with her family’s noted abilities at getting people to vote for them, she’s all but guaranteed the coveted Sexy Veg title in ’08. If she can just swear off the sushi.
You can read Ingrid’s letter to Jenna here.
*Via Washington Whispers.
Oh, and in completely (like, completely) unrelated news, there was a cat vitamin recall this week. If you feed your cats vitamins, you should check this link to see if it affects you.
Those overeducated academics over at peta2 have just released their annual list of the top 40 vegetarian-friendly colleges in the United States, so if you want to show a little love for your alma mater or your hometown school, you can cast your vote here. The school with the best vegetarian options will be announced in the second week of November, so there’s still a bit of time to vote. The contest has already been getting some good press in college newspapers across the country, including this piece in Yale’s newsletter, and this little vignette from ASU.
My school a) didn’t have a cafeteria to speak of, and b) wasn’t in the U.S., so I went ahead and voted for Berkeley—because Berkeley is beautiful, and they have vegan chicken nuggets. You can vote for your favorite here.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.